Real Madrid Predicted Lineup vs. Villarreal: Eden Hazard to Return

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid have somehow found a way to keep the fight for the La Liga trophy alive until the final day as they take on Villarreal where they will need a win to have any chance of winning the trophy. At the same time, Atletico Madrid go against Real Valladolid and Los Blancos will need them to drop points on the night. Therefore, don’t expect too many changes from Zinedine Zidane as he knows just how vital three points could be.

Goalkeeper

Been saying this for some time and it’s worth being said again but it would have been nice to have the freedom to see Andriy Lunin get a couple of starting opportunities by this time of the season but Real Madrid have a lot to play for and there is no doubt that Zidane will not take any unnecessary risks as Thibaut Courtois will be picked to start in goal for the final match of the campaign.

Defenders

There is some reason to believe that Zidane may opt for a three-man defense on the night especially since Raphael Varane is fit but it’s doubtful that the manager will want to risk starting the French defender. Therefore, his options are a little more limited as he goes for four at the back with Alvaro Odriozola as the right-back, as he has shown great improvement in recent matches and is slowly earning Zidane’s trust.

Meanwhile, the consistently praised partnership of Eder Militao and Nacho Fernandez will be expected to continue as well. With Marcelo expected to leave this summer, we could see him start but there’s a bigger chance of Miguel Gutierrez getting a third consecutive starting spot while Marcelo comes in later for a potential goodbye.

Midfielders

The biggest news is that Toni Kroos has tested positive for COVID-19 and will definitely be missing the game on Saturday night but which means that all signs point to Zidane going with the same three midfielders that we saw in the previous two matches. Carlos Casemiro will be expected to start with Federico Valverde in front of him alongside Luka Modric who continues to be absolutely sensational and has earned yet another call up to the Croatian national team for the Euros this summer.

Forwards

Who could Zidane pick up front? We have seen him go with Rodrygo Goes in the past couple games but given that this is the final match of the season, could we see Eden Hazard back in the starting lineup? There is a very good possibility of that. He will be switching between the left and right flank with Vinicius Junior throughout the game, as they both aim their passes and crosses to Karim Benzema. 

The No. 9 has been in incredible form this season and will be even happier this time around after finally getting called up to the French national team for the first time in six years for the Euros this summer. This isn’t spoken about too much, but there is a chance that Benzema will be the Real Madrid captain next season since Sergio Ramos and Marcelo may both be departing the club in the next couple of months.

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Full Predicted Lineup

Thibaut Courtois, Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Nacho Fernandez, Miguel Gutierrez, Carlos Casemiro, Federico Valverde, Luka Modric, Eden Hazard, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema